Cooke, Alexander (DNB00)

COOKE, ALEXANDER (1564–1632), vicar of Leeds, Yorkshire, was the son of William Gale, alias Cooke, of Beeston in that parish, where he was baptised on 3 Sept. 1564 (Thoresby, Ducatus Leodiensis, ed. 1816, p. 209). After studying at Leeds grammar school he was admitted a member of Brasenose College, Oxford, in Michaelmas term 1581, and after graduating B.A. in 1585 he was elected to a Percy fellowship at University College in 1587. In the following year he commenced M.A., and he took the degree of B.D. in 1596 (Wood, Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 230, 243, 273). On 5 Feb. 1600–1 he was inducted into the vicarage of Louth, Lincolnshire, by virtue of letters mandatory from the bishop on the presentation of the queen (Lansd. MS. 984, f. 120). On the death of his brother, Robert Cooke [q. v.], he was collated, upon lapse, to the vicarage of Leeds, by Tobie Mathew, archbishop of York, on 30 May 1615 (Hobart, Reports, ed. 1724, p. 197). He was buried in Leeds church on 23 June 1632 (Thoresby, Vicaria Leodiensis, pp. 71–9).

Wood says that ‘he left behind him the character of a good and learned man, a man abounding in charity and exemplary in his life and conversation, yet hated by the R. Catholicks who lived near Leeds and in Yorkshire, and indeed by all elsewhere who had read his works’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 536). Cole observes, however, that there is ‘no great sign of abundance of charity in his letter to Archbishop Ussher, 1626, in which he tells him that the dean of Winchester had offered 15,000l. for that bishopric, and calls Dr. Laud and Bishop Francis White men of corrupt minds; with a deal of other puritan leaven.’ Cooke was married and left several children. His daughter Anne became the first wife of Samuel Pulleyne, archbishop of Tuam.

He was author of: 1. ‘Pope Joane. A dialogue betweene a Protestant and a Papist, manifestly proving that a woman called Joane was Pope of Rome,’ London, 1610, 1625, 4to. Reprinted in the ‘Harleian Miscellany,’ ed. Park, iv. 63. A French translation, by J. de la Montagne, appeared at Sedan, 1663, 8vo. 2. Letter to James Usher, dated Leeds, 1612, to prove that the two treatises ascribed to St. Ambrose, viz. ‘De iis qui Sacris initiantur’ and ‘De Sacramentis,’ as also that of Athanasius, ‘De Vita Antonii,’ are not genuine. Harleian MS. 822, f. 464. 3. ‘Work for a Mass-Priest,’ London, 1617, 4to; entitled in successive amplified editions ‘More Work for a Mass-Priest’ (1621); ‘Yet more Worke for a Mass-Priest’ (1622); ‘Worke, more Worke, and yet a little more Worke for a Mass-Priest’ (1628, 1630). 4. ‘St. Austins Religion: wherein is manifestly proued out of the Workes of that learned Father that he dissented from Poperie,’ London, 1624, 4to. Baker ascribes to Cooke the authorship of this treatise, although William Crompton is generally credited with it [see Anderton, James]. 5. ‘The Abatement of Popish Brags, pretending Scripture to be theirs,’ London, 1625, 4to. 6. ‘The Weathercocke of Romes Religion, with her severall Changes. Or, the World turn'd topsie-turvie by Papists,’ London, 1625, 4to.

[Authorities cited above.]

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